Download Vitae Download High Resolution Photo

Michael Cheng, Ph.D.

Director, Food and Beverage Program


HM 158


305-919-4506 (Business)



Ph.D. in Hospitality Management, 2012
College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Dissertation: A competency model for Culinology® graduates: Evaluation of the Research Chefs Association’s Bachelor of Science in Culinology® core competencies

M.S. in Nutritional Science and Dietetics, 1995
College of Education and Human Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
Dissertation: Formulation of a model ground beef loaf system

B.S. in Foodservice Administration, 1993
College of Education and Human Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska


  • Culinology competencies
  • Curriculum development
  • Event planning
  • Food Product Development
  • Hospitality Management competencies
  • Instructional design
  • Restaurant and Foodservice Management


  • Monday-Friday from 10:00:00 AM to 12:00:00 PM in HM 158


Published or Accepted Refereed Journal Publications

Cheng, M., Ogbeide, C. & Hamouz, F. (2011). The Development of Culinary Arts and Food Science into a New Academic Discipline – Culinology®, Journal of Culinary Science and Technology. 9 (1) 17-26.

Bissett, B. L., Cheng, M., Brannan, R. G. (2010). A Qualitative Assessment of Culinary Science Competencies Defined by the Research Chef’s Association, Journal of Culinary Science and Technology. 7 (4) 285-293.

Bissett, R. L., Cheng, M., Brannan, R. G. (2010). A Quantitative Assessment of the Research Chefs Association Core Competencies for the Practicing Culinologist, Journal of Food Science Education. 9 (1) 11-18.

Cheng, M., Bosselman, R. (2016). An Evaluation of the Research Chefs Association’s Bachelor of Science in Culinology Core Competencies, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education. 28 (3) 127*141.

Submitted Refereed Journal Publications


Cheng, M. (2014-2015). Copper Skillet Culinary Competition, International Association of Conference Centres. Miami, Florida, USA, 04/15/2015.

Cheng, M. (2014-2015). The Intersecting Worlds of the Food Scientist and the Chef, 2nd Annual Molecular Gastronomy Workshop at University College Cork, Ireland. Cork, IRL, 06/18/2014.

Cheng, M., Amin, S. A., Chong, L. C. (2014-2015). From Idea to Protocept in Record Time: Culinology® 4.0: The Next Wave in Asia., Research Chefs Association Annual Conference and Culinology Expo. Portland, Oregon, USA, 03/20/2014.

Cheng, M. (2014-2015). Blendability: Healthy Alternatives to Ground Protein Products, Research Chefs Association Annual Conference and Culinology Expo. Portland, Oregon, USA, 03/21/2014.

Cheng, M., Traynor, M. (2013-2014). Culinology 4.0 in the U.S. and abroad - Closing the Gap between the Culinary Gold Standard and the Commercialization Process, Minnesota Institute of Food Technologists . Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 11/19/2013.


Dr. Michael Cheng's foodservice career spans more than 20 years. A native of Malaysia, Cheng established the world's first and only academic discipline that blends culinary arts and food science, Culinology®. The Vilcek Foundation recognized his achievements by placing Cheng as a finalist in the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in the Culinary Arts in 2010 (Wikipedia). In March of 2006, Cheng received his second Research Chefs Association (RCA) President's Award where he was recognized for his continued innovation, dedication, leadership and extraordinary contributions to the RCA community. He received his first RCA President's Award in 2002 for establishing Culinology® as a baccalaureate degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Since the inception of the first Culinology degree program at Nebraska, Cheng has been involved with establishing other Culinology programs, including Southwest Minnesota State University and Taylor's University, Malaysia. 

Cheng previously served on the Hospitality Minnesota Educational Foundation, Research Chefs Association and Research Chefs Foundation Board of Directors. He was also previously the Vice-Chair of the Nebraska Restaurant Association Hospitality Educational Foundation, and Co-Chair of the Arts & Soup Festival and the Taste of the Nations' Chefs Competition. Cheng has taken his experience and expertise in the food industry and put his focus into establishing the Culinology® and Hospitality Management programs at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU), where he also served as Department Chair and Director. 

After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor's Degree in Foodservice Administration and also a Master's Degree in Nutritional Science and Dietetics, Cheng worked in various positions ranging Prep Cook to Food Service Manager. Prior to joining SMSU, he was the Assistant Dean of Math, Science, and Health Careers and Culinary Arts Program Director at Metropolitan Community College.  He currently holds the designation of Certified Hospitality Educator from the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Cheng received his PhD in Hospitalty Management through Iowa State University in Dec 2012. His dissertation is A Competency Model for Culinology® Graduates: An Evaluation of the Research Chefs Association's Bachelor of Science in Culinology® Core Competencies.

Striving to serve his industry and his community, Cheng is a sought-after speaker and was invited by the National Restaurant Association to be on a panel of Culinology® experts at the 2006 Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago.  Cheng has also presented at various national and international conferences, such as the Molecular Gastronomy Workshop at University College Cork, Ireland, the Research Chefs Association Culinology Expo, the League for Innovation, and the National Institute for Staff and Institutional Development. In addition, he has also been invited to judge several culinary competitions in Nebraska, Minnesota, and Florida. He has developed and taught a variety of courses, including Culinary Arts Basics, Introduction to Hospitality Management, Menu Fundamentals, Hospitality Facility Layout and Design, Restaurant Development, Foodservice Trends and Challenges, Catering and Banquet Management, Introduction to Food Science, Food Sensory Analysis, and Food Product Development.

© 2013 Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Designed By: Dale Gomez. Maintained by: Hospitality Technology Services